The goal: Increase participation in annual breast cancer screening exams by making them more convenient and accessible and, as a result, save lives through early detection and treatment.
“Early detection through regular screening is the key to better outcomes,” said Keisha Humphries, Ascension Via Christi’s Director of Oncology Services. “But research has established that women may put theirs off because of scheduling, convenience or transportation. This will give them another option.”
The 41-foot-by-8.5-foot vehicle, funded in part by the Via Christi Foundation, will feature a registration area, two self-contained private dressing rooms and an exam space, providing ample room for the registrar and mammography tech who will staff it and the patients it will serve.
“We are expecting delivery of our unit some time in June and plan to be on the road soon after,” said Dave Degenhardt, Director of Radiology for Ascension Via Christi in Wichita.
Ascension Via Christi currently offers 3D breast imaging weekdays during regular business hours at its St. Teresa and St. Joseph hospital campuses and its Ascension Medical Group Via Christi clinics on Murdock and Founder’s Circle and at its imaging centers in Manhattan and Pittsburg.
According to the most recent data available, seven in 10 Kansas women ages 40 and over have had a mammogram within the past two years. One in eight U.S. women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.
The national Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends addressing non-economic burdens and obstacles to breast cancer screening by reducing the time or distance between service delivery settings and target populations; modifying hours of service to meet client needs; and offering services in alternative or non-clinical settings such as mobile mammography vans at worksites or in residential communities.
“We will be employing all three of these recommendations with the addition of mobile mammography,” said Degenhardt.
The task force also recommends eliminating or simplifying administrative procedures and other obstacles through scheduling assistance and patient navigators.
“We already have that in place with our Oncology nurse navigators, who play a key role in helping cancer patients access the resources they need at all stages of their journey, from screening to diagnosis to treatment to survivorship,” said Humphries.
If you are interested in scheduling the mammography van, call 316-268-5890.
Personalized care throughout your cancer journey
You can have breast cancer and still be you. At Ascension Via Christi, you get an experienced team of breast cancer specialists and surgeons who start by getting to know you as a person and work with you on a personalized care plan. Your multidisciplinary care team delivers breast-conserving surgery options and reconstruction, and targeted therapies to help stop cancer cells from growing.
To learn more about Cancer Care at Ascension Via Christi, go to: ascension.org/ViaChristiCancerCare